Friday, November 26, 2010

Cranberry Chutney

Fresh cranberries
Fresh apples (your choice)
Ground ginger

Thanksgiving is over and you now have to look ahead to Christmas. According to Norman Rockwell, Christmas is a time to join with friends and family in joyous celebration of rebirth, redemption, and the end of another wonderful year together, proving that Norman Rockwell had no fucking clue what he was talking about. My theory is he was freebasing cocaine and painting what he saw in his fucked up, half lucid dream world. For me, and probably you, the holidays consist of far too much driving and far too many children that aren't yours packed into too small a space. This is a recipe for what I like to call motherfucking stabby time. However, holiday food celebrates my favorite fruit: the cranberry. Unfortunately, very few people in my family like cranberries. All the more reason for me to make a cranberry dish. This chutney is great as a side dish, condiment, or just on some delicious Triscuit crackers while awaiting that last relative to show up so you can start eating. In this way, you can keep one hand free for holding the gun that you'll use to greet said relative once they finally arrive, more than an hour late. I bet they'll fucking be on time for Easter.

What the fuck is chutney?
Chutney originated in India as a sort of spicy paste or sauce used to compliment the main dish. It consisted primarily of vegetables and spices, like coriander and onion. Of course, in traditional anglo fashion, the Limeys got ahold of it and dropped the spice and veggies for fruit and sugar, effectively creating a polar opposite dish  but retaining the name. So, yeah... fuck you, India.
This particular chutney tastes quite a bit like applesauce with a heavier texture and a bite of cranberry. As an added bonus, you make it in two steps and about 30 minutes. The recipe originated here, and I've made quite a few changes.

Peel and chunk one large apple or the equal amount of smaller apples. Any apple type you use should be fine, but the firmer the better. I used one and a half golden delicious apples. For peeling, an old fashioned potato peeler works really well if you're not the best with a paring knife. As you can see, I left some skins on a few of them to change up the texture a bit.

Toss the apple chunks into a medium sized pot, along with 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 3/4 cups of luke warm water, and a standard (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries. If you've never used cranberries before, you might find yourself wondering if so little water will have an effect on these rock hard berries. Here's a little secret... cranberries are the sluttiest fruit in the world. Hit them with the smallest bit of water and some heat and they give in quicker than my junior high prom date (Thanks again, Melissa!)

Top it all off with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and a few dashes of all-spice. You can use ground cloves in place of the all-spice if you want, but since I couldn't rationalize spending $8 on a fucking spice I'm only going to use a handful of times in my life, I used all-spice. Seriously, is there a goddamn clove shortage or something?

Start your pot cooking on medium high heat. Give your ingredients a stir and stir often until it starts to boil

By the time the water starts to boil, you can all ready see fissures forming in the cranberries. Seriously, thanks again, Melissa. I mean it.

Let it boil for a bit, then reduce your heat to medium low. By this time, those slutty cranberries are pretty much done. Let the mixture cool down a bit before you cover, or it'll boil over and leave a mess on your stove you'll have to ignore for a week.

You'll want to simmer this for about 15 minutes. Check on it occasionally to ensure your water and sugar are reducing and getting nice and thick.

After about 15 minutes, everything in the pot will be this deep red color, and the apples should be tender. Toss it in a plastic container and head for the ice box. As it cools, it'll settle even more, giving you a delicious cranberry dish that everyone can enjoy. If they don't... fuck 'em.


  1. Thank you for explaining what the fuck chutney is, because I had no idea. Except that I think it's also a girl's name. I personally don't think it looks yummy, but that's not your fault. It looks too much like cranberry sauce, which makes me want to gag. So does apple pie, and so do sweet potatoes. Something about mixing fruits (or sweet things like sweet potatoes) with other stuff that makes it no longer resemble its original fruit self freaks me out.

    In other news, thanks for making a recipe blog entertaining and funny!


  2. ROFL. I love that you are such a manly man who wrote a post on chutney. More please!

    Casey (Weird that Cassie posted above me)